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IR Approved Author Dustin Herriman: “To know that I had an effect on someone, even if that effect was simply to entertain them for a while, is an intensely satisfying feeling.”

Death’s Disciples received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Dustin Herriman.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The name of the book is Death’s Disciples, and it was published in early March of 2021.

What’s the book’s first line?

The first line goes a little something like: “I peered through the thick grass at the jungle’s edge as the sun started dipping into the cloudy orange horizon.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Set in a world where Gods exist and have tangible influence on the comings and goings of mortals, this story follows the adventures of a young man named Zakul from a long misunderstood tribe of Disciples who worship the God of Death, Thanaki. Zakul goes to visit his friend in a nearby town for a festival, when the town comes under siege by an invading army. The rest of the book depicts his attempts to escape the invaders, trying to save anybody else he can along the way. It’s a simple premise, but it’s full of action from beginning to end.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

I was inspired to write this book by my own rambling teenage thoughts, birthed from an angst and depression that began with a fascination with death. Eventually, I thought out what the world might be like if a deity representing my fascination existed, and from there, the whole world-building exercise became all-consuming until I had a solid idea of not only how such a creature would behave, but also how people would try to coexist, or refuse to coexist, in such a place. To be frank, it all began with a small seed of an idea that blossomed and changed over time.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

People should read this book because my hero may be more relatable than most. He’s a young man who just wants to live, who has been thrust into an impossible situation. He doesn’t have any extraordinary superpowers or combat abilities, but he does have grit and determination unrivaled.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

The most distinctive thing about the main character is his ability to traverse his environment. He’s a masterful climber and a truly marvelous runner, and combining these talents with his grit, he manages impressive feats that could actually be replicated.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

If this book became a movie, I’d love to see an athletic black youth playing Zakul, although I have a hard time pinning down exactly the right person for it. I suppose we would have to do casting calls for it!

When did you first decide to become an author?

I first decided to become an author when I was 16 years old. I’ve always known that I enjoyed writing, but it was then that I first genuinely believed that I could make the cut one day.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

This is the first book I’ve written, although I’ve worked on several much smaller projects before committing to this one.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, I work full-time as a construction and welding inspector.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

These days my full-time job consumes most of my time, but I still try to write for at least four or five hours a week. If things change in my professional life, I may try to dedicate more time to my craft.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

The thing that motivates me most is the idea of captivating a reader and telling them a story that they’ll remember. To know that I had an effect on someone, even if that effect was simply to entertain them for a while, is an intensely satisfying feeling.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

That’s easy. The author I admire most is Jim Butcher, the author of The Dresden Files. His work has entertained me and motivated me to hone my craft for years.

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